My diagnosis was hardly run of the mill even by the standards of a teenager distracted by the ever emerging world of the future. I was worrying about all those little things like acne, excessive sweating, testosterone coming out your ears and a sudden interest in all things unwise.
Add into that a sudden case of loss of control of limbs, a lack of any structured memory for an hour, tales of my body flailing and a bus load of holiday makers wrapped in mittens and coats looked befuddled and generally horrified – it certainly made for an interesting experience.
I was 15 and had just spent a week doing what remains to this very day my favourite thing in the world, skiing. It had been a great holiday although I must say beyond the snow, most of it has been overshadowed in my memory by what was to follow. It was the transfer back from the hotel to the airport and all those who have been to the mountains know this means a coach that smells stale, always has a couple car sick souls and is never a pleasant journey. Beyond this I really couldn’t tell you much more than I have been told myself, it is a misty experience in my mind to say the least!
The first seizure
So the scene’s set, now for the beginning of a journey central to the rest of my life. My first seizure began. Safe to say it was horrifying to all those around me, starting with convulsions whilst I sat next to my brother it quickly turned into a huge event. My first seizure was just over 10 minutes long which is, 5 minutes too long.
My mum was panic stricken, my brother was lost to all logic, however my ever calm father was, well calm. I’m sure this was just a front although it’s hard to say with a steely soul like him. We were less than half the way down the mountain when it happened and after some calming of nerves and calls to the emergency services it was decided we would drive back to a point above us (the nearest helipad). We were met by a helicopter and I was taken to the nearest hospital.
It was a stressful experience for my family (from what I understand anyway). We went to the hospital as a family and a rocky couple of days began. No accommodation and a foreign language to deal with whilst worrying about what on earth was going on hardly made it easy!
Mum and my little brother went home on a later flight despite mum being the one fluent in french, dad was the one who was calm and capable of dealing with such things so he stayed.
I was in the hospital for 3 days whilst it was all worked out and several tests, a couple days of worrying and a lot lost in translation we were allowed to leave, epilepsy diagnosis in tow. Incredibly difficult, tough on everyone, but we got through it.
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